40 Comedians Reveal Their Favourite Jokes Ever
Some of our favourite comedians, humourists and actors share the one joke that always makes them laugh.
What Are Your Favourite Jokes Ever?
When people hear that I founded National Lampoon and produced Animal House and the Vacation films, they always make the same demand: “Say something funny!” So I tell them about the time I ran into the comedian Henny Youngman at the racetrack. “Henny, how are you doing?” I asked. He said, “Matty, I bet on the politest horse ever. He let all the other horses go in front of him.” I invited my favourite comedians, funny actors, and humourists from over the decades to share a joke or a quote that cracks them up. Let’s see if their gags are funnier than mine.
Aasif Mandvi’s favourite joke ever
Rene Descartes was at a party when the waiter asked if he would care for a hors d’oeuvre. Descartes said, “I think not” … and disappeared. — Aasif Mandvi, a former correspondent on The Daily Show and the author of No Man’s Land.
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Allison Janney’s favourite joke
A guy goes ice fishing for the very first time. All of a sudden, he hears a voice. “There are no fish under the ice!” He ignores it and moves to another area, cuts a hole, and tosses his line in. Again, he hears the booming voice: “There are no fish under the ice!” He nervously looks up and asks, “Lord? Is that you?” “No, this is the rink manager!” — Emmy Award-winning actress Allison Janney
What are your thoughts on pepperoni?
“Don’t ask me about my pan pizza, it’s personal.” — Doug Benson, quoting Megan Neuringer
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When I finished high school, I wanted to take my graduation money and buy myself a motorcycle, but my mom said no. See, she had a brother who died in a horrible motorcycle accident when he was eighteen. And I could just have his motorcycle. — Riki Lindhome, quoting Anthony Jeselnik
Jason Alexander’s favourite joke
Two pirates, Morty and Sol, meet in a bar. Sol has a patch over one eye, a hook for a hand, and a wooden peg leg. “Ye gads, matey,” says Morty. “What happened to ya?” Sol says, “Me pirate ship was attacked, and a lucky shot lopped off me leg. So now I got me a wooden peg.”
“And yer hand?” asks Marty.
“When me ship sank, a shark bit me hand off. So now I got me a hook.”
“OK, but what’s with the eye patch?”
“I was standin’ on a dock, and the biggest seagull I ever saw poops right in me eye.”
“But ya don’t go blind from no seagull poop.”
“True,” says Sol. “But it was me first day with the hook.” — Jason Alexander, who played George on Seinfeld and appeared on Broadway in A Fish in the Dark.
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Two cannibals are eating a clown, and one looks at the other and says, Does this taste funny to you? — Joe Mande, quoting his Dad
A critical question
My favourite joke of all time is: “Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how did you like the play?” — Gary Gulman, a finalist on Last Comic Standing, has appeared on Late Night with Seth Meyers and Inside Amy Schumer.
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What a man-wich
Scene: From the TV show Parks and Recreation. Ron Swanson, a manly and prodigious eater, has told a coworker that the hot dog/hamburger stand in the bowling alley is his favourite restaurant.
Coworker: “Really? Aren’t you scared to eat there?”
Ron Swanson: “When I eat, it is the food that is scared.” — Mike Schur, co-creator of Parks and Recreation and Brooklyn Nine-Nine
“I’d like to think that halfway through Nicole Kidman’s last name there’s a tiny bar mitzvah.” — Megan Amran, Twitter Queen, author, and former writer/producer Parks and Recreation, quoting Justin Shanes
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Thanks, but no thanks
Friends of an old guy hire a lady of the evening for his 90th birthday. She arrives at his door, throws open her coat, and shouts, “I’m here to give you super sex!”
The old man thinks a second and says, “I’ll take the soup.” — Jane Lynch, who played Sue Sylvester on Glee
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In the dark
We weren’t very religious. On Hanukkah, my mother had our menorah on a dimmer. — Comedian Richard Lewis, who co-starred in Curb Your Enthusiasm and is the author of Reflections from Hell
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“I’m sick of following my dreams—I’m just going to ask them where they are going and hook up with them later.” — Natasha Leggero, quoting Mitch Hedberg
A string and his friends walk into a bar, and the string goes up to get a drink and the bartender says, “We don’t serve strings here.” So the string ties himself in a loop and does up the top of his head and then goes up to the bar, and the bartender goes, “Uh . . . are you a string?” And the string goes, “No, I’m a frayed knot.” — Kumail Nanjiani.
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“Imagine ordering from a waitress everything that you get at a buffet. Yes, I’d like to start with some spaghetti, two chicken wings, a Jell-o cube, and a few beets. And for my next plate, I will have a hard shell taco filled with ham cubes — I will take one bite of that and realize it was a horrible mistake. I’ll have some ice cream and I’ll have some salad …” — Kyle Kinane, quoting Matt Knudsen
But will I make it to 10,000 steps?
“Every place is within walking distance if you have enough time.” — Bob Mankoff, former cartoon editor of the New Yorker, quoting Steven Wright. “Steven is one of my favourite cartoonists because his jokes are so pure and concise,” Mankoff says.
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Kids say the creepiest things
Set-up: A Mad Magazine parody of Dennis the Menace. In the one-panel cartoon, Dennis is bursting into the room to proudly show a human skull to his parents. He yells, “Hey, Mom! Look what I found in Mr. Wilson’s head!” — “I don’t know why it struck me as so funny. I guess when I was a kid, I had never before seen anything so aggressively dark and weird,” says performer “Weird Al” Yankovic.
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The joy of marriage
In heaven, there were two huge signs. The first read, Men Who Did What Their Wives Told Them to Do. The line of men under this sign stretched as far as the eye could see. The second sign stated, Men Who Did What They Wanted to Do. Only one man stood under that sign. Intrigued, St. Peter said to the lone man, “No one has ever stood under this sign. Tell me about yourself’.” The man shrugged and said, “Not much to say; my wife told me to stand here.” — Oscar Nuñez, who played Oscar Martinez on The Office.
At least there’s no hangover
A skeleton walks into a bar. The bartender says, “What’ll you have?”
The skeleton says, “Gimme a beer and a mop.” — John Goodman (Roseanne, Argo, The Big Lebowski) and Dan Aykroyd (Ghostbusters, The Blues Brothers) both sent us this gag. Said Goodman, “Not only is this the only clean joke I know, but it’s the only joke I know.”
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A winning formula
Two racehorses are in the stable. One says to the other, “You know, before that last race—”
“The one that you won?” asks the other horse.
“Yeah; before that last race, I felt a pinch in my hindquarters.”
The other horse says, “Funny, I felt a pinch in my hindquarters before the race that I won.”
A dog walking by says, “You idiots; you’re being doped. They’re injecting you with a drug to make you run faster!”
One horse turns to the other and says, “Hey, a talking dog!” — Penn Jillette, the tall, chatty half of the comedy and magic duo Penn & Teller
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On the front lines
During D-Day, an American GI phoned into his base, “The Germans are shooting at me.” The base replied, “How do you know?” He yells back: “Because they’re hitting me.” — Al Jean, the head writer of The Simpsons, quoting a true story reported in the Stephen Ambrose book Citizen Soldiers.
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Skin and bones
I met a beautiful girl last night, but she was rather thin. I mean, this was a skinny girl. She turned sideways, you didn’t see her. I took her to a restaurant and the maitre d’ said to me, “Check your umbrella?”— Writer/director Mel Brooks. “This joke is very, very cheap,” he told us. “I love it because it’s typical of a borscht belt opening monologue, the kind that a Jackie or a Bernie would tell. In fact, that was my opening joke when I played the Catskills.”
There are two times a man should wear white pants; One, if you’re in the navy. Two, never. — Comedian Greg Proops is the author of The Smartest Book in the World.
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Once I saw this guy on a bridge about to jump. I said, “Don’t do it!”
He said, “Nobody loves me.”
I said, “God loves you. Do you believe in God?”
He said, “Yes.”
I said, “Are you a Christian or a Jew?”
He said, “A Christian.”
I said, “Me too! Protestant or Catholic?”
He said, “Protestant.”
I said, “Me too! What franchise?”
He said, “Baptist.”
I said, “Me too! Northern Baptist or Southern Baptist?”
He said, “Northern Baptist.”
I said, “Me too! Northern Conservative Baptist or Northern Liberal Baptist?”
He said, “Northern Conservative Baptist.”
I said, “Me too! Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region or Northern Conservative Baptist Eastern Region?”
He said, “Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region.”
I said, “Me too! Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region Council of 1879 or Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region Council of 1912?”
He said, “Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region Council of 1912.”
I said, “Die, heretic!” And I pushed him off the bridge. — Eugene Mirman, sharing an Emo Philips gag
How about a Bloody Mary?
A grasshopper walks into a bar and the bartender says, “Hey, we have a drink named after you.” The grasshopper says, “Really? In that case, give me a Kyle!” — Emo Philips
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Why did the horses get a divorce? They didn’t have a stable relationship. — Gilbert Gottfried, comedian.
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Lost in communication
“I wrote a letter to my dad. I wrote, ‘I really enjoyed being here,’ but I accidentally wrote rarely instead of really. But I still wanted to use it, so I crossed it out and wrote, ‘I rarely drive steamboats, Dad. There’s a lot of stuff you don’t know about me. Quit trying to act like I’m a steamboat operator.’” — “This letter took a really harsh turn right away,” says comedian Mike Birbiglia, of his favourite Mitch Hedberg gag. Birbiglia co-starred in Trainwreck and appears regularly on Orange Is the New Black.
Make mine rare
“I had a bag of Fritos; they were Texas Grilled Fritos. These Fritos had grill marks on them. They remind me of when we used to fire up the barbecue and throw down some Fritos. I can still see my dad with the apron on. ‘Better flip that Frito, Dad; you know how I like mine.’” — Comedian and former Saturday Night Live cast member Brooks Wheelan, with yet another Mitch Hedberg gag
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Please don’t be my neighbour
“I was watching Sesame Street and realized that it teaches kids how to judge people. That’s right. They got this one character named Oscar. They treat this guy like dirt the entire show. ‘Oscar, you are so mean. Isn’t he, kids?’ ‘Yeah. Oscar, you’re a grouch!’ He’s, like, ‘I live in a @#$%^&% trash can!’ So don’t tell me how to get to Sesame Street. I wouldn’t go there if I knew the way.’” — Saturday Night Live’s Jay Pharoah, quoting a Dave Chapelle routine.
What are the odds?
A low roller stops a man at a Vegas casino. He says, “Hey buddy, can you give me $5,000?”
The man asks, “What for?”
The low roller says, “My mother needs an operation to regain her eyesight.”
The man asks, “How do I know you won’t just take this money and spend it at the casino?”
The low roller says, “Oh, I got gambling money…” — Comedian Rick Overton.
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The heart wants what it wants
“I always handle being dumped really well. I act really cool about it while it’s happening because deep down I’m hoping that maybe the guy will be so impressed that he’ll take me back on the spot. A guy told me ‘It’s over because I don’t love you,’ and I was like, ‘I get it, man. Totally. The heart wants what it wants.’ I thought maybe he’d say, ‘Wow, you’re handling this with a lot of composure…I could use a girl like you on my team.’” — Aparna Nancherla, quoting fellow New York City comedian Jacqueline Novak
“Understand that a man wants a woman who encourages him without nagging him. He wants a woman who believes in his dream, even though she knows he can’t do it. Your man come home talking about he’s going to quit his good job at the post office because he want to be an astronaut? Don’t say anything. Just pull out your sewing machine and make him an astronaut outfit. Mix him up some Tang, slice him up some cheese and tell him—’GET UP! You gonna be late for the moon!’ Push him out the door and say, ‘call me when you get a break on the moon!’” — Aisha Tyler, quoting a routine from her the Talk co-host Sheryl Underwood
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Good morning, sunshine
A mother asks her young sons what they want for breakfast. The first little boy says, “I’ll have some @#$%^& pancakes.” The mother angrily sends him to his room for cursing.
She glares at the other little boy and asks, “What do you want for breakfast?!”
The second boy says, “Well, I sure don’t want the @#$%^& pancakes!” — Bill Engvall, who was part of the Blue Collar Comedy group with Jeff Foxworthy
It’s chilly in Minsk
The only cow in a small Russian village stopped giving milk, so the villagers went to Minsk and bought a new one. The cow produced lots of milk, and the people were so happy, they decided to buy a bull to mate with the cow and produce more cows like it. But the cow wanted nothing to do with the bull, constantly moving away every time Ferdinand approached. So the people asked their wise rabbi what to do.
After some reflection, the rabbi asked, “Did you buy this cow from Minsk?”
“You are truly wise,” said the townspeople. “How did you know?”
The rabbi answered sadly, “Because my wife is from Minsk.” — John Landis, who directed Animal House, Trading Places, and The Blues Brothers.
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“I bought a dog the other day. I named him Stay. It’s fun to call him. ‘Come here, Stay! Come here, Stay!’ He went insane.”— Carrot Top, quoting Steven Wright
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The friendly skies
A timid little man was seated in the window seat of an airplane next to a scowling brute of a guy. The little man was terrified of flying, and as soon as the plane took off, he felt sick. But his seatmate was fast asleep, and he couldn’t figure out how to get past him to the bathroom. And then it was too late; he got sick all over the big guy.
As he frantically wiped up the mess, careful not to wake the giant, the brute’s eyes flew open. The timid man smiled and said in a shaky voice, “Feeling better now?” — Arthur Hiller, award-winning director of the tearjerker Love Story and also director of the classic comedy The In-Laws
A guy approached a priest to request a funeral for his dog. The priest explained he couldn’t do that, but the man insisted. “Sorry, why don’t you ask the Protestant minister across the street?” says the priest.
“That’s too bad, Father,” said the disconsolate man as he was leaving. “There was going to be a thousand dollar stipend.”
The priest stopped him: “Why didn’t you tell me your dog was Catholic?” — Cindy Williams, who played “Shirley” on Laverne & Shirley, quoting a gag from a play she starred in, Meshuggah-Nuns!
Hold your horses
“I don’t want to travel on any type of transportation where the public has access to the emergency brake. I would hate to go off the track at a hundred miles an hour because ‘Gus’ thought he saw a woodchuck.” — Billy Gardell, who played Officer Mike Biggs on Mike & Molly (CBS), and hosted the Monopoly Millionaires’ Club, quoting Dennis Miller
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